Speaking of character development, it's Nicky and Emergency Backup David, both behaving competently. Naturally, they're nowhere near their bosses or coworkers. Emergency Backup David's doing Kwan's autopsy, explaining that whatever killed Kwan did so with a strong blow to the parietal bone: "Based on the fracture pattern," I'd say it was a single strike to the head." "That explains the lack of spatter at the scene," Nicky says. "First hit's free," Emergency Backup David says in an uncanny imitation of his boss. "Killer knew what he was doing," concludes Nicky. Emergency Backup David then whips out the piece of black plastic he found in the wound, and Nicky gets excited over the possibility of transfer from the murder weapon.
After a pan across Vegas's sprawling suburbs, we see children playing happily; this is our cue that we're at the rec center. Warrick's walking over to talk to Phelps, who's busy cleaning graffiti off the side of his building. Where is his son? This poor kid has the most miserable night of his life, and then effectively drops out of sight, out of mind. Phelps turns around and says intensely, "I heard you got the shooter." Warrick says slowly and uncomfortably, "It's not that simple." "You think it's him?" Phelps insists. Warrick tries to make it somewhat better by assuring Phelps that they've got their guys on it; Phelps says somewhat bitterly, "Yeah," then resumes trying to clean his wall. Warrick watches a juvenile football team go jogging by and grasps for a neutral subject: "You still using those same old uniforms?" Phelps replies, "That stuff's expensive, man." Warrick's aware of that. Phelps continues, "But we managed to get the basketball court tarmacked, thanks to contributions from folks like you." Insert your own joke about the real reason for Warrick's gambling here. He only says, "I ain't stupid. I know where I came from. I wouldn't be anywhere if it weren't for this place." It's lines like that which make me suspect that the rec center's going to tragically burn to the ground before the end of the episode. Phelps points out, "You was [sic] always going places. You just lacked discipline." "Still do," Warrick admits. He then looks at the wall and notes that he doesn't recognize the ugly-ass gang symbol. Phelps says wearily, "It's hard to keep up with it all. I just don't know anymore, what with all the break-ins --" "Break-ins?" Warrick asks. You'd think he'd know -- that sort of stuff would at least make the local section of any paper that had a decent crime beat reporter. It's a story that practically writes itself: "Struggling Community Center Robbed By Those It Serves." Anyway, Phelps provides a plot point when he says, "The rec center van was stolen a few days ago. How am I going to tell those kids that they can't play in the semifinals 'cause I got no way of getting them there?" I commend Phelps's dedication, but I can't help but wonder if he shouldn't have other things -- like taking care of his boy -- on his mind right now. Anyway, Warrick says, "I'll look into it, all right? We'll get 'em there." Phelps nods. We then find out that Aimee's funeral service is Wednesday. Warrick looks miserable, and he says, "If there's anything I can do --" Phelps leans in and says intensely, "Just get me five minutes alone with the shooter. Just five minutes. I know it's not going to bring Aimee back, but I can't sleep at night knowing that he's still breathing out there. Can you?" Warrick's saved by the cell; it's Gil, calling with the news that Gene has an alibi. Looking beleaguered, Warrick goes off to find out what the hell happened.
Unfortunately, Warrick's decided to bring Matt with him back to the Labitrail. As they walk through the hall, Phelps is telling him he hasn't slept in days. Gil comes over and, ever the soul of cordiality, says, "Mr. Phelps, it's good to see you again. Would you excuse us a moment?" He pulls Warrick aside to ask what Phelps is doing here, and Warrick replies, "If Jaycobs is going to slip through our fingers, I need someone else to explain to him what went wrong." Couldn't Warrick have called ahead on that? Gil says somberly, "This was not a good idea." Warrick ducks the discussion by checking out the piece of work that comprises Jaycobs's alibi -- "clothes he slept in, bloodshot eyes. The guy's a junkie, Grissom!" You know, over in Nicky's plotline, someone like that would be called "employee #5." Anyway, Gil points out that David Artiss (the guy in question) can back up Gene's story about finding the gun and waving it around the bar, and Brass overrides the rest of Warrick's objections by coming over and saying that the DA's weighed in on this, and since the alibi was just corroborated by someone who saw those two men at the Sports Chalet equipment emporium a half hour before the house was shot up, "the DA decided not to file charges. Says he didn't want the clock to tick." Warrick's thisclose to losing it as he sputters, "Easy as this, he walks!" Brass displays extraordinarily good management skillz when he says, "Look at it this way: you have more time to build your case," but before Warrick calms down, there's a scene where Gene comes out and heads down the hall as Mr. Phelps charges for him, shouting, "Why are they letting him go? Why are they letting him go?" Gene makes a few mocking gestures -- nothing says class like taunting the bereaved -- and Warrick intercepts. As the scene winds down, Gil looks about as upset as he ever does. It's hard to tell what's got him more wound up: the emotional scene he just witnessed, or the realization that it's his protégé who caused it. As Warrick walks Phelps away, Brass tells Gil that Gene is going into protective custody "to avoid repercussions in the community." He then asks Gil, "Where are we going to put Warrick?" Gil looks back at him, troubled.